Ceremony held honoring victims of 1906 quake in SF on 112th anniversary

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco dignitaries and firefighters gathered in San Francisco Wednesday to commemorate the 112th anniversary of the Great 1906 earthquake.

Wednesday morning's annual commemoration offered a message of preparedness as well as a tribute to the late Mayor Ed Lee.

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Sirens wailed at 5:12 a.m. to mark the exact moment the quake struck the city. The early-morning ceremony was held at Lotta's Fountain and started with the telling of the devastating event and fires that followed. "We had one great leader who ultimately made sure this fountain worked. And that was Ed Lee," former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said.

Lee was a fixture at this ceremony throughout the years. He died in December, but his memory lives on.

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A minute of silence was held in honor of the 3, 000 who died in the earthquake, followed by sirens near the exact time the massive quake hit 112 years ago.

"Ladies and gentleman we dedicate this wreath in honor of Edwin M. Lee, 43rd mayor of San Francisco and to all those who perished during the great earthquake and fire in 1906," an official said.

The group moved on to 20th and Church streets to paint a hydrant gold. It had water after the earthquake and is credited for saving the Mission District from flames.

The message Wednesday morning from firefighters and police officers was be ready because the next big one could come at anytime. "SF, 72, 72 hours. Be ready to take care of yourself for 72 hours. Stock up on your water. Stock up on your food," San Francisco Police Department Chief William Scott said.

Organizers said a plaque commemorating the lives lost in 1906 will be unveiled next year.

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